What to do if your customer service is poor – FM Outsource
Sometimes businesses focus so much on perfecting their product or business concept that customer service can fall into disregard. So, it’s unsurprising that, in the CS industry, some businesses are falling behind. Especially with public forums like social media and review sites available to customers, there’s little space to hide.
Not only are businesses having to face ongoing changes to CS, 80% of them think they’re delivering a high standard of service when their customers don’t exactly agree (in fact, only 8% do). So, some businesses might be blind to the changes they need to make to keep up with the constantly changing demands of their customers, others might think everything is A-Okay, and a few might even think if they ignore it, it will get better eventually. Which is exactly the wrong mindset to have.
It’s time to stop hiding your head in the sand and act. If your customers aren’t receiving a high standard of CS, they’ll go somewhere else to get a better service. There are very few businesses who have an entirely unique selling point so it would be foolish to depend on your product to do all the work for you.
What should you be looking out for in regards to poor customer service?
If you’re a small business or you aren’t in close contact with your CS team, it might be hard to identify any pain points within your customers’ experiences of your service. Here’s a few things you should be looking out for to ensure your CS doesn’t meet any bumps in the road:
Operators hanging up on an angry customer
You might not want to engage with a customer who is frustrated or annoyed with your service but your CS is there to allow customers a place to vent their frustrations. Every customer will express themselves differently, so you need to allow them to have a bit of a rant and then work together with them to solve their issue.
Lack of training within your team
If your operators are poorly trained, you can’t expect them to deliver a stunning service. That would be like asking a workman to do his job without his tools. This could be an issue with your employee onboarding process or the actual recruiting of new operators. It’s important to identify where you could be going wrong so you can improve the process. This way, your operators will understand your services and customers well enough to apply the standards and values your business has put in place.
Operators blaming your customers
Putting the error onto your customer’s shoulders is just another way to shift the blame. Never blame your customers for what isn’t their fault to begin with. Accepting responsibility is part of owning a business and you need to have your operators understand that from the get go. Of course, different businesses have different approaches, so ensure your operators understand how the business would like to take on any problems put to them. Even if the fault does fall with the customers, teach operators to treat them with grace and respect.
Forgetting to use common courtesies
Manners go a long way, especially if a customer is upset with a business and/or its product. By ensuring your operators say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at the very least, it not only shows a customer you care, it also exudes professionalism. It also ensures a human touch is added. By taking part in constant quality checks, your business can keep an eye on little touches like this.
Who’s successfully turned their customer service around
Many businesses have instances of bad customer service, but it’s how you react to them that makes the difference.
The Marriott hotel opened one of their branches a little too early, with problems remaining with the building and the management not entirely ready. One of their customers visited the hotel and, even though there were countless issues, the manager made sure to turn the situation around. They did this by offering exceptional, personalized service (using their name, continued follow-up during their stay, etc.) and just generally making the customer feel completely unique and special. Such service lead to the problems with the actual hotel being forgotten and a great experience was had!
Public reviews can cause quite a lot of distress for businesses, especially smaller ones who thrive off personal recommendations. Samovar Tea Lounge, a restaurant in San Francisco, received a one-star rating on Yelp due to its badly cooked food and poor service. Anna, whose review you can see below, clearly wasn’t very happy with the chain, especially as she has received such high standards of service from their newer restaurants.
Source: Review Trackers
Now, it could be easy to simply ignore the review and hope that past, present and future customers won’t be put off by just one person’s opinion. Not for the Samovar, who completely owned up to their mistakes and apologized profusely. By accepting the mistakes as their own (and that people have differing tastes), they showed real care and attention towards the upset customer. By actually addressing each of the issues raised by Anna, they not only showed that they weren’t just passing off the bad review as a bad day at the office, they also offered advice on how they were addressing the problems to make sure it didn’t happen again.
Source: Review Trackers
Bad things can happen for all manner of reasons, don’t jump to conclusions and offer poor CS because a customer has come to you upset. Customers can be lost at one single instance of bad CS, so it’s important to constantly reflect and work on those parts of your business, especially as they’re now so public facing.
Not only can trying to solve any bad CS instances improve that customer’s view of you, the public format of most CS queries these days can also help inspire future customers’ purchases. If they see you responding well to a very negative review, they may start to trust the brand and feel that if something did go wrong, you’d be there for them.
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